Moving to Los Angeles is a decision that, for many, has to do with the constant sun and warmth that other places just don’t provide on a regular basis. If you need proof, just look around the country at the sub-zero temperatures and snow covering every inch of the ground. But just because you’ve made the choice to head out west doesn’t mean that it’s going to be smooth, with the culture, people and size of L.A. something that can be difficult for some to get used to. For that reason, here are 15 reasons why living in Los Angeles will ruin you for life—whether that’s good or bad.
15. Don’t Expect Great Mexican Food
This one might be a little bit tongue-in-cheek, but for those who love good Mexican food, it’s about as serious as a heart-attack. While other places have authentic Mexican, there isn’t quite anything like what you get in Los Angeles, with fresh ingredients and creative dishes at every place you go.
14. You Won’t Care About Pro Football
While Los Angeles is a great sports town, there’s one thing that is still lacking—an NFL team. Sure, there are two pro baseball teams, two pro basketball teams and a hockey team that has been successful in the past few years, but when it comes to football, it’s generally just about the USC Trojans or the UCLA Bruins. Since you tend to spend your Sundays doing other things, when away from L.A., you’re more likely to continue that trend than to sit around on the couch and watch games you have no allegiance to with buddies—even if you do have a fantasy team.
13. People Don’t Speak in Area Codes
One of the most unique thing about living in L.A. is that people don’t often say the actual part of the city they live in, instead just giving the area code. When you hear that someone is from the 714, you might perk up and think they come from money. When they say a party is in the 818, you roll your eyes knowing that it’s too far away and won’t be showing up. Unfortunately, no one else in the country does this, so expect more than a few blank stares if you can’t break the habit.
12. The Weekend Trips
If you haven’t noticed, the state of California is a massive mass of land that stretches from the Mexican border all the way up to the tip of southern Oregon. With so much space, it is filled with a number of cities that are easy to travel to for a quick getaway. Whether by train, bus, car or plane, taking a trip from L.A. to San Francisco or San Diego is nothing at all. But that’s not what other people in the States are blessed with, as they’re surrounded by vacant land or cities with much less appeal a lot of times.
11. You’ll Become an Expert in Driving
Thanks to the long commutes and hours waiting in traffic while in Los Angeles, anywhere you go will be filled with snobbery because you’ve dealt with L.A. traffic, so nothing can ever compare to that. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but sitting in a traffic jam for three hours in Atlanta is the same as sitting in a traffic jam in L.A.—long and depressing.
10. The Culture is Tops
Whether you realize it or not, the culture in L.A. is some of the best in the world, with diverse people populating various parts of the city and adding a distinct flavor to it. And while each city has something that is defined as culture, other than New York City, there aren’t nearly as many colorful characters as one sees while in SoCal.
9. You Won’t Be “In the Know”
With so much talent in the city, L.A. is often a place where some of the best performers in both screen and music get their start. Like other things on this list, it’s one of the biggest draws of living there, because, with so much going on, you get the chance to see a band or performer before they hit it big.
8. Say Goodbye to Fresh Produce
I’m not saying that there aren’t other places where you can scoop up some fresh, ripe produce in the country, but, like Mexican food, nothing seems to compare to the options in Los Angeles. Littered with farmer’s markets each weekend and freshly delivered fruits, peppers and other things each day to grocery stores, this is one thing that you’ll sorely miss when not in L.A.
7. Kiss the Beach Goodbye
One of the best things about L.A. is that, no matter where you are, you’re never far from a beach. Yeah, that’s not the case in other places that are more landlocked than SoCal, with people finding alternative ways to spend their late afternoons and weekends. Rather than ride your bike to the beach and surf all afternoon, you’ll be forced to do something else that may or may not be as fun or relaxing. Bummer, dude.
6. You’ll Laugh at the Touristy Things
This isn’t just an L.A. thing, but, really, a thing that happens in every major city. Like those in Chicago who get asked if they’ve ever been to the Sears Tower or people in NYC being questioned for never visiting the Statue of Liberty, people in Los Angeles will scoff at the idea of someone spending an afternoon touring famous people’s houses, snapping pics of the Hollywood sign or strolling down the Walk of Fame. That just doesn’t happen when you’re a resident in SoCal.
5. You’ll Be Spoiled
Not in the sense that everything will be handed to you, but in the sense that the temperature, access to beaches and abundance of good looking people won’t always be within eyesight. It’s no secret that L.A. is known for flashiness and an abundance of activities to do. If you ever leave, don’t imagine that everyone lives that way, because they don’t.
4. You’ll Still People Watch (A Lot)
With so many celebrities in L.A., it’s easy to fid yourself looking up while at a simple coffee shop to wonder if the person standing in the bathroom line is that one guy from that thing. It’s just part of the buzz and draw of the city. And while it’s not a bad thing, it’s not common elsewhere, with other people more intent on enjoying the company of those around them than look up every couple of minutes for someone who may or may not be famous.
3. It’s All About In-N-Out
There’s a reason so many people post pics online about them eating In-N-Out when they visit California—because the stuff is like crack! Rather than take it for granted by passing it every single day on your way to work, when you don’t have that option, you’ll find yourself craving it even more because it’s not even an option any longer.
No matter how you shake it or how much you want to deny it, Los Angeles is the absolute king of status symbols, with people worried about where they sit on the totem pole. While that can be a good thing at times, it’s not something that most people stress out about outside of the city. So if you ever do decide that L.A. isn’t for you, trying to keep up with the Joneses isn’t something that is as frequent and can be hard to adjust from.
1. You’re Going to Be Judged
As much as you don’t want to be a part of the status competition any longer once you leave L.A., because the city carries a certain stigma with it, you’ll be judged just as much, if not more, because you have lived in the city of all cities. Whether that’s by your personality, the way you dress or the lifestyle you lead, jealousy will creep in on others who think that everyone who has experienced Los Angeles is a rich snob like they’re often painted on TV.